I’M BEING harassed. Unfortunately, it appears that there’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t tick any of the boxes which would qualify me for protection under the law.
I’m not being harassed by a partner or family member; by a neighbour, a landlord, a creditor, an online stalker, or any other individual.
I’m not being persecuted on account of my race, my sexuality, my religion, or even my age.
You couldn’t say that the harassment was inspired by hatred or discrimination. In fact, I’m only one amongst millions being targeted in the same dispassionate way.
Nevertheless, I’m being harassed repeatedly, and the harassment is leaving me feeling distressed, offended, and very irritated.
Who is harassing me? My energy provider. They really, really want me to have a smart meter, and they won’t take no for an answer.
Rolf Norfolk has recounted in TCW his experience of ‘fighting the Octopus’. In my case the emails started several years ago. ‘Discover the benefits of a new meter, Gillian!’ they warbled. ‘A little reminder, we could replace your meter. . .’ or ‘Millions of homes benefit from smart meters. Yours could too.’
Eventually I responded, saying that I’d investigated the pros and cons, and had come down on the side of the cons.
For a while, the nuisance stopped. Then the emails began again. I received an apologetic note, saying the company understood my position, but were under government orders to go on harassing me anyway.
Now it seems they’re closing in for the kill. A ‘smart meter appointment card’ has come through the letterbox. ‘Your new smart meter is ready and waiting for you,’ it announces. ‘Just tell us when we can pop round to fit it.’
So that’s that. A smart meter is lurking in the wings, with my name on it. If you haven’t been smartened up yet, there’s one with its eye on you, too, and sooner or later it will pounce. Working in collusion with ‘independent’ energy companies, our smart-Alec government is imposing yet another of the intrusive provisions lurking incognito within its ‘sustainability’ agenda.
These ‘smart’ meters offer absolutely nothing to you and me, while the expense of installing them and of the advertising campaigns nudging us towards them is being taxed back via our energy bills, adding to the cost of living.
The sales patter is that ‘you’ll be able to track your energy in £ and p and spot ways to save energy at home’, but the only sure way of cutting energy costs is to use less energy, and there’s no need for any glitzy new technology to show you how.
Many of us already go beyond such standard cost-cutting measures as turning off lights, boiling minimum amounts of water, and abjuring the stand-by mode. Many of us have found more drastic ways to economise when rudimentary thermometers provided by the council plummet towards the blue zone (‘You need to take action. Serious risk to health’).